the HOLY SPIRIT
The Nature of the Baptism in the Holy
Spirit: Part Two
By Dr. Richard Dobbins
CBN.com When Will I Know That I Have Been Baptized in the Holy Spirit?
You will know that you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit when
you pray speaking in a language that is unknown to you. Pentecostals
believe speaking in other tongues is the initial physical evidence
that Jesus Christ has baptized a person in the Holy Spirit. But I
want you to notice carefully that speaking in tongues is not the only
physical evidence, though it is the initial physical evidence.
There are other evidences, such as what happens physically in your
life as a witness for Jesus Christ after you have been baptized in
the Holy Spirit.
This is the pattern set for us in the New Testament church. In most
cases, speaking in tongues is identified with someone who is baptized
in the Holy Spirit. The only exception is Acts 8, where the Holy Spirit
did not choose to focus specifically on speaking in other tongues,
but left no doubt that there was visible evidence that this had happened.
The biblical pattern confirms that speaking in tongues is not the
only physical evidence, but is the initial physical evidence.
I believe the primary reason for the initial physical evidence of
the baptism in the Holy Spirit being speaking in tongues is found
in James chapter 3. James 3 says that the tongue is the most unruly
member of the body. By using tongues as the initial physical evidence,
God is saying that when you can bring this most unruly member of the
body under the inspiration and influence of the Holy Spirit, you know
that the total person has been immersed in the Holy Spirit.
How Will The Baptism in the Holy Spirit Change Me?
First, speaking in tongues will provide a way for you to personally
edify yourself. The Holy Spirit is a great reliever of tension and
anxiety. Being able to spiritually express yourself to God without
relying on the cumbersome structure of a learned, cultural language
is very liberating.
This is private speaking in tongues, not public ministry in tongues.
It can enable you to intercede for someone that you may not know how
to pray for, because the Holy Spirit makes intercession through you
for the saints according to the will of God (see Romans 8:26,27).
Speaking in other tongues also opens the world of charismatic gifts
to you. These are listed and discussed in 1 Corinthians 12-14. The
public celebration of these gifts largely distinguishes the difference
between the way Pentecostals approach world evangelism from the way
other evangelicals pursue it.
Pentecostals believe that the charismata and the practice of these
gifts of the Spirit are the ways the Holy Spirit energizes the Church
for the work of evangelism. We do not believe that miracles have ceased;
we believe they are an ongoing part of the ministry of the Lord Jesus
through the Church as He baptizes the Church in the Holy Spirit.
Ask God to give you an open heart for all He has for you. Open your
life to Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Then, hunger and thirst
for more of Him. It is in pursuing Him that He will bless you with
the gift of the Holy Spirit. May our Lord's highest and best be yours,
from this day forward!
Part One: The Nature and Purpose of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Dr. Richard D. Dobbins is the leader of EMERGE Ministries of Akron,
Ohio. He serves on the faculty of Ashland Theological Seminary and
initiated the coordination of their master’s program in Pastoral
Counseling. An acclaimed author, Dr. Dobbins has created numerous
film/video presentations on topics of interest to believers and has
written many books, booklets, articles and audiotapes on Christian
mental health care.
© Media Ministries of the Assemblies of God. The highlights
of the daily and weekly radio program, "From This Day
Forward," are a joint production of EMERGE Ministries, Akron,
Ohio, and the Media Ministries of the
Assemblies of God, Springfield, Mo. Used with Permission.
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